Afternoon Tea – it is all about the experience and not just about perfectly made sandwiches or warm scones. It is all about the setting, the atmosphere – don’t you think?
I love sampling the afternoon tea at various places around London and I couldn’t turn down an invite from Fiona to accompany her to The Landmark.
Winter Garden at The Landmark, Marylebone
Through a grand stone arch up a flight of stairs, when one enters into the soaring Winter Garden, it is quite a breathtaking experience.
The massive central courtyard is a beautiful space flooded with natural light. The glass roof that covers the atrium sits at a massive height, creating a huge dome surrounded by the rooms on all sides. Tall palm trees add to the grandeur of the Winter Garden.
Rich Victorian Heritage of The Landmark Hotel, London
The Landmark Hotel at Marylebone is built around a huge central courtyard. When it was first opened in 1899 it was called the Great Central Hotel. Sir Edward Watkin has envisioned the creation of the Great Central Railway, Marylebone Station and a Grand Hotel for its elite passengers.
When his health failed him, the project was taken over by Edward Montagu, the Earl of Wharncliffe. At this time the site was bought by the famous furniture store chain of the times Maples. To match the grandeur of luxury hotels of the time, the hotel was designed around a vast courtyard that delivered guests directly into the courtyard by horse and carriage offering them privacy. The glass roof and airy interior made for a very dramatic entrance and ensured all rooms got adequate light and air.
The hotel changed hands once again in 1988 when the new roof to the atrium was raised and the winter garden was designed. Windsor Hotel was the name proposed at this time, but it reopened as the Regent in 1993 under new management. Two years later it was renamed The Landmark Hotel.
Award-winning Afternoon Tea
Our welcome glass of bubbly was the Champagne de Castelnau Brut Reserve. Then we picked our teas and picked a theme for our pastries. I choose to have the chocolate afternoon tea while my companion picked the classic afternoon tea.
Picking a tea to pair with my chocolate tea was quite easy as the Smooth Caramel sounded like it was made to pair with the chocolatey delights on my afternoon tea menu.
Our afternoon tea came laid out on elegant trays on shiny silver trays. The steaming hot teas came in beautiful silver teapots.
We thoroughly enjoyed our sandwich selection which consisted of deliciously fresh cucumber sandwiches (which I loved and couldn’t get enough of), coronation chicken on walnut bread, Lapsang Souchong tea-smoked Scottish salmon sandwiches which were a hit with my companion, and organic egg mayonnaise with mustard and cress. The sandwiches were so fresh and delicious that we asked for more.
My chocolate-themed pastries included a decadent blood orange and white chocolate mousse which was also my absolute favourite. The other chocolatey delights were a milk chocolate dacquoise sponge with hazelnut Chantilly cream, a beautiful banana, pecan nut, and milk chocolate cake and a perfectly formed large coconut and chocolate macaroon topped with a tiny dollop of delicate edible gold foil.
My companion picked the Earl Grey tea which was a bit too strong for her liking. She loved her pastry selection from the classic afternoon tea though. It included a rhubarb and lemon meringue tartlet which looked very tempting, a pretty looking simnel cake with dried fruits spices and marzipan, a delicious dark and white chocolate sphere which was my companion’s favourite pick from the lot and last but not the least a salted caramel macaroon.
The scones we were served also offered a selection depending on our choice of afternoon tea. So while I enjoyed a selection of plain and chocolate scones, Fiona was served plain and fruit scones. I loved that we could pick two jams from a really good selection of jams. This was for me was a big plus point in favour of this whole afternoon tea experience. The other positives, of course, include the fabulously fresh sandwiches, the lovely selection of premium teas and the exquisite selection of chocolate pastries.
I picked a gooseberry and elderflower jam to go with my scones and clotted cream which I thought went really well with the warm scones, especially the chocolate scones. An unexpected but very pleasant combination of flavours. My companion picked apricot jam which she thought paired really well with the fruity scones, as expected. We had plenty of clotted cream to smother our scones with and am sure we would have managed to eat a few more scones if we hadn’t done round two of the sandwiches.
I would rate this experience amongst my Top 5 afternoon teas in London and I have tried quite a few. I love the location for this hotel too and that definitely adds to the score. With Marylebone station right around the corner, this grand venue has loads of offer. So you not only enjoy a delicious afternoon tea served in pretty silver wear by very attentive and polite staff but you always experience being inside a larger than life Winter Garden, sitting in a quiet seating area surrounded by tall Palm trees looking up at glass roof atrium and enjoy the soft music thanks to a harpist playing in the background.
To book this luxurious afternoon tea experience at The Landmark Hotel check out their menu and other details on their website here: The Landmark Hotel, Marylebone, London.
Curious to explore more options for Afternoon Tea in London? Why not browse through my blog and read about my experiences in various places:
- Boyds Brasserie, Charing Cross
- The Wallace Collection – Afternoon Tea amidst Art, Westminster
- Honey Afternoon Tea at St. Ermin’s, Westminster
- Moroccan Afternoon Tea at Leila, Ealing
Looking for more options for places to eat at while in Marylebone, why not read Fiona’s review about Twist Kitchen, an independent local restaurant in the area.
* With thanks to Fiona who blogs at London Unattached and The Landmark Hotel for the invite. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No monetary compensation was offered.